[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The endogenous opioid system has been reported to interact with both the cardiac sympathetic and renin-angiotensin systems in exerting a local regulatory action on the heart. The goal of this investigation was to examine how cardiac levels of enkephalin production are altered in the development of normotensive primary hypertrophy due to elevated intra-cardiac angiotensin II (Ang II) production.
Atrial and ventricular methionine-enkephalin (ME) levels were measured by quantitative radioimmunoassay in 14 and 28-week-old male transgenic mice (TG1306/1R) and control mice. The TG1306/1R exhibit cardiac specific Ang II overexpression and cardiac hypertrophy, but not hypertension.
TG1306/1R mice had significantly higher heart/body weight ratios (15-20%) than control littermates at both 14 (p=0.02) and 28 weeks (p=0.04). Relative to controls, ME content was significantly elevated (approximately two-fold) in atria and ventricles in the older 28-week TG1306/1R mice only. A significant inverse correlation between heart size and ME level was observed for 28-week TG1306/1R only.
We have provided evidence that a marked elevation of myocardial enkephalin level is observed in the established (but not early) phase of cardiac hypertrophy associated with cardiac-specific Ang II-overexpression. This study identifies a potentially important relationship between two endogenous peptidergic signalling systems involved in the regulation of growth and function of the hypertrophic heart.
Journal of Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System 01/2008; 8(4):153-9. · 2.29 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Opioid peptide receptor (OPR) and beta-adrenergic receptor (beta-AR) are well-established members of G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) superfamily and are involved in regulating cardiac contractility, energy metabolism, myocyte survival or death. OPRs are typical Gi/Go-coupled receptors and activated by opioid peptides derived from the endorphin, dynorphin and enkephalin families, whereas beta-AR stimulated by catecholamines is the model system for Gs-coupled receptors. While it is widely accepted that beta-AR stimulation serves as the most powerful means to increase cardiac output in response to stress or exercise, we have only begun to appreciate functional roles of OPR stimulation in regulating cardiovascular performance. Cardiovascular regulatory effects of endogenous opioids were initially considered to originate from the central nervous system and involved the pre-synaptic co-release of norepinephrine with enkephalin from sympathetic neuronal terminals in the heart. However, opioid peptides of myocardial origin have been shown to play important roles in local regulation of the heart. Notably, OPR stimulation not only inhibits cardiac excitation-contraction coupling, but also protects the heart against hypoxic and ischemic injury via activation of Gi-mediated signalling pathways. Further, OPRs functionally and physically cross-talk with beta-ARs via multiple hierarchical mechanisms, including heterodimerization of these receptors, counterbalance of functional opposing G protein signalling, and interface at downstream signalling events. As a result, the beta-AR-mediated positive inotropic effect and increase in cAMP are markedly attenuated by OPR activation in isolated cardiomyocytes as well as sympathectomized intact rat hearts. This brief review will focus on the interaction between beta-AR and OPR and its potential physiological and pathophysiological relevance in the heart.
Cardiovascular Research 09/2004; 63(3):414-22. · 5.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Opiates have been used for thousands of years in the form of opium for relief of pain or fever and to induce sleep. However, it was only in the 1970s that the endogenous ligands for the opiate receptors were identified and termed opioid peptides. Opioid peptides activate G protein-coupled receptors in the central and autonomic nervous system, with marked effects on the regulation of pain perception, body temperature, respiration, heart rate and blood pressure. Cardiovascular regulatory effects of endogenous opioids were initially considered to originate from neural centres in the central nervous system, facilitating a regulatory role in neuro-transmission, as demonstrated by the presynaptic co-release from sympathetic neurones of norepinephrine with enkephalin or acetylcholine with enkephalin. However, opioid peptides of myocardial origin have also recently been shown to play a key role in local regulation of the heart. This brief review highlights the key features of the enkephalin opioids in the heart and the current understanding of their role in development, ageing, cardioprotection, hypertension, hypertrophy, and heart failure.